The college basketball season has been under way for about a month. \nWhat's that, you say? You haven't noticed? \nWhen it comes to getting attention in November and December, college hoops struggles to stand out in the sports crowd. \nThis year it's particularly difficult. The news and the sports talk shows are filled with talk about the Bowl Championship Series, steroids and NBA fisticuffs. \nUntil late February starts the drumbeat for March Madness, college basketball suffers from a national identity crisis. Sure, the occasional Duke-North Carolina or Kansas-Texas matchup creates a buzz, but most of the noise is confined to the local and regional level. \nThe folks in charge of college athletics appear to be OK with that. The NCAA has in fact passed legislation that has limted the number of types of early season events that once got attention. \nOne of the best events that was lost because of the new rules was the Great Eight. \nHeld in Chicago in early December, the two-night event brought eight teams (if possible, the eight regional finalists from the previous season) together for four games at the United Center. \nThe games tended to be the kind of heavyweight matchups -- Arizona versus Kansas, Duke versus Connecticut -- rarely played in the nonconference season. Plus, the matchups were set ahead of time. \nThe Great Eight went away because the NCAA limited the number of times a team could play in an "exempt" event over a four-year period. \n(Exempt games don't count toward the total number of games a team can schedule for a season.) \nThere remain events such as this week's Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the Preseason NIT, the Guardians Classic, the Maui Classic and the Great Alaska Shootout. But teams still are limited in the number of times they can participate in those events. \nInstead of playing in events in which their teams help produce revenue to the groups staging the event, most major schools prefer to play home games. And typically the games are "payday" games scheduled against inferior visiting teams. \nOne solution might be a start date or dates for the season. Practice starts on a prescribed day, so why not have most of the 320 teams start their season on a designated date? \nCollege basketball tends to be its own worst enemy. A wise man once said, "A terrible thing happens when you promote nothing."
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on